How Social Platforms Are Tailored to Specific Audiences
TL; DR: define your audience archetype so you can create captivating content tailored to individual social platforms.
Social media can be overwhelming, especially for those who rely on social media to build their personal or professional brand. Luckily, our experts know how to make brands stand out and thrive. Because we like you and want you to succeed, I want to share some of our secret social sauce. It all starts with defining the right platforms that align with your audience personas.
What Are Audience Personas?
Every journey to start a social media account, create a social media campaign or improve your organic results begins with researching your target audience and building audience personas. These personas, or “audience archetypes” as we like to call them, are more than just ASL (if you were online in the early 2000s ?). Google defines them as “fictional profiles that represent a group of similar people” in a target audience. Personas not only give you a sense of your audience’s demographics but of their interests, personalities, spending habits and other specifics that will help you define how to speak to them.
At a basic level, defining audience personas will help you narrow down which platforms you or your business should be on in order to maximize the social media ROI. They also make it easier to target search ads and social ads and help guide your website copy for a better user experience.
Why Is Social Media Important?
By now, you either know what social media is or you just crawled out from underneath a rock. (If you’re the latter, then please refer to our library of blog posts. Trust me, it’s for your own benefit. Where was I? Oh yes…) At its core, social media is a technology that allows its users to connect with other people and brands and share aspects of their lives. It has the power to boost your online presence, increase your personal and brand awareness, and build relationships. There are roughly 4.5 billion social media users around the world according to Investopedia, so that’s a lot of potential relationships. While social media may seem like a one-way street, it’s interactive, like any good relationship, so you need to get to know your audience while they get to know you.
What Are the Best Social Platforms by Type?
All social media is not created equal. Each platform is unique and, whether the platform creators like it or not, attracts and retains specific types of audiences. Social media can be broken down into four different subgroups:
- Social networks
- Media networks
- Review networks
- Discussion networks
A social platform’s subgroup will determine what type of audience will be active and what each audience will expect from it—and from you.
Top Social Networks: Facebook and LinkedIn
Facebook is a connection platform and is the most popular media for men and women between 35 and 44. Though Facebook did update how their user demographic information is used and the way ads can be targeted to specific audiences after the 2021 data breach, it’s still a solid platform if you are looking to send pet-related content or surveys, collect feedback or testimonials, or share news with older millennials and Gen X.
LinkedIn is another social network. It’s a more professional media platform and, according to their 2022 data, 60% of their users are between 25 and 34. This audience looks to LinkedIn to network, elevate their careers and create meaningful work connections. So, if you're looking to share company updates or news, network with like-minded professionals or post a job opportunity, start with LinkedIn.
Top Media Networks: YouTube and Instagram
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and a beast when it comes to SEO opportunities. It accounts for 25% of the world’s mobile traffic. And because video content is generally the most engaging type, YouTube is also great for establishing thought leadership, sharing fun team challenges and letting your audience take a peek inside the inner workings of the company.
Instagram is a popular platform for sharing media, including Reels and other videos, and for sharing personal experiences. It’s the place to be for influencers. (Instagram is also known for some of the worst celebrity photoshops of all time.) Because users on this platform are between 18 and 34, they are very vocal about calling bullsh*t when something seems off. So, if you’re going to use this platform, make sure your content is as authentic as it is eye-catching.
Top Review Networks: Yelp and TripAdvisor
Yelp and TripAdvisor are pretty self-explanatory. As review networks, both of these platforms are mainly used by hotels, restaurants and entertainment destinations to share experiences and things to do. Users on these platforms have the opportunity to share reviews and be a part of making or breaking a company’s reputation. And with “270 reviews per minute” on Trip Advisor according to Expanded Ramblings and 41.9% of users between the ages of 18-34 on Yelp, these platforms have been a wake-up call for companies that need to update their customer service policies or get glowing recommendations from customers.
Top Discussion Networks: Reddit and Quora
Before it changed its slogan to “Dive Into Anything,” Reddit was known as the “front page of the internet.” It combines the best of social media into one platform. Reddit users can discuss everything from hot-button social issues to conspiracy theories and everything in between. It’s all organized into topic-based forums, or “subreddits,” that can get as specific as “pocket sand.” Subreddits tend to be much more engaging than other platforms because the shared interests are so niche. Reddit is one of the hardest platforms for brands to use partially because of this. However, companies can share useful info in relevant subreddits as long as the content is important to the audience or else the content will garner downvotes and won’t be seen by anyone.
Quora is another discussion network where users can ask and answer questions. Think of it as a question-and-answer style Wikipedia. It is great for brands who want to share valuable and accurate info about their products or services and answer questions their target audience may have. With roughly 5,000 questions asked per day by users who are between 18 and 34, you can guarantee your brand can find questions to respond to.
This list doesn’t include the entire Pandora’s Box of social platforms. There are well over 100, and that number is growing daily. None of the platforms above are new, but they do have the most engaged users. So, while the process of building out your audience begins, defining the correct platform with the most potential to reach your audience is crucial.
How Do I Stay Ahead of the Curve?
Staying ahead of the ever-changing social media curve is easier said than done, but if you’re ready to move the needle, you’ve come to the right place. At EMB we get it right 98.6% of the time, no cap. (You don’t have to say it; I felt the cringe.)
While some social platforms like Instagram give you advice on new offerings and features, many don’t. If you subscribe to the EMBuzz newsletter, we’ll offer free marketing insights, like how to build a marketing strategy or how to go viral on Instagram. You can also sign up for the free intro course or the social media course in our marketing webinar. All of these provide opportunities to learn more about social media platforms and the audiences they attract.
In the end, deciding where and how to create a new social media campaign or profile all comes down to defining your audience. If you’re still lost and need some help in navigating which social platforms are right for your brand, connect with us!
Sheria James, Account Manager
Elevate My Brand